Welcome to the Art&Seek Artist Spotlight. Every Thursday, here and on KERA FM, we’ll explore the personal journey of a different North Texas creative. As it grows, this site, artandseek.org/spotlight, will eventually paint a collective portrait of our artistic community. Check out all the artists we’ve profiled.
Sam Lao is one of those people who seems to be great at everything she tries. She sings, draws, paints, sculpts, writes poetry and she raps. And in a city like Dallas, which is filled with talented artists and musicians, Lao stands out.
“Frankly, she kind of came out of nowhere,” says Pete Freedman. Freedman is a journalist and the founder of Central Track, a local entertainment blog aimed at people 18 to 35. “The first time anyone really knew about Sam was when she released the video for her single “Pilgrim,” which I believe came out before she even released her “West West Pantego” EP. It was an awesome introduction, because it was a very striking video of Sam and the entire Brain Gang crew sitting around a feast and Sam was starring directly at the camera rapping about her prowess as an emcee and she was proving it right off the bat.”
Soon, everyone in North Texas seemed to know Lao. She released a four-song EP and started performing at festivals.
“So it’s really my goal to like break through that ceiling and become the nationwide, worldwide artist that Dallas can claim,” says Lao.
That’s big talk for the young emcee, but her contemporaries believe it’s possible. Dallas rapper 88 Killa thinks Lao has the talent to be an artist who is bigger than hip-hop and bigger than most North Texas musicians.
“If anyone is going to break out of this city, it’s going to be her,” says 88 Killa. “Everyone in her inner circle believes that the only thing that can get into her way is herself. When she sneezes or blinks, people definitely pay attention.”
Find out how more about Sam Lao's journey and her quest to rule the world at Art&Seek.